Not everyone wants to work the same schedule — and that's OK! We're not all cut out to work 9-5 jobs, just like we're not all programmed to function productively
with too much flexibility.
That's why there are different types of jobs with different types of work schedules — and, if you can, you should choose a work schedule that works best for you.
What is a work schedule?
A work schedule refers to the hours that you regularly work. Your work schedule may require you to work every Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., for example. It also may require you to work weekends on occasion, odd hours during the holidays or early mornings for certain types of businesses (think: gyms and doctor's offices that need to be open before others have to go to work).
Your work schedule can make or break your job satisfaction. A bad work schedule can make a dream job
a nightmare. And a great work schedule can even make a job that you don't love worth doing. That's why you should choose a work schedule that fits you if you can! Here are 15 you can propose to your manager.
A 9-to-5 work schedule is as close to standard as can be. This is considered the typical work week for most people. They start at 9 in the morning (though some may come in a bit earlier or later on some days) and they generally leave around 5 p.m.
An unpredictable schedule is one that's all over the place. Employees aren't sure what hours they'll be expected to work every week until that week rolls around. Usually hours are posted on a bulletin board or online somewhere so that employees can keep track of their hours.
A rotating schedule is one that can be the same or different every week, but regardless, an employee has fixed hours that rotate. They may always work 40 hours per week, but some days they might be on the morning shift, while other days they may be on the night shift, for example.
An on-call schedule refers to being available at all hours (or for the detailed on-call hours, according to the contract). If an employer calls, the employee has to work.
A compressed work schedule refers to a work schedule in which employees work the bulk of their hours all at once, so they get more days off. They may work 12 hours in a day, for example, but they work less
A part-time schedule is anything less than a full-time schedule, which is usually about 40 hours every week. If you work 30 hours a week, then, you're still considered to be a part-time employee.
A split-shift schedule refers to a schedule that is split into parts. So an employee may work in the morning from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and then return to work later in the afternoon to work from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. This is ideal for employees with afternoon obligations — they still get their eight hours a day in, but they split it up.
A flexible schedule is exactly what it sounds — flexible. Employees have more freedom to come and go the work as they please, and they may even be allowed to work remotely some or all days of the week.
An overtime schedule refers to any hours that exceed the employee's contracted full-time hours. Usually, employers are required to pay time and a half for overtime hours.
A shift schedule refers to chunks of time throughout the week that an employee works. Most restaurants and bars, as well as nurses and other similar occupations, have shift schedules.
11. Alternate work
An alternate work schedule is one that an employee works out with their manager to be more flexible than their standard work schedule. While it may not apply to all employees in the workplace, the alternate hours apply to them because of their specific circumstance.
A 9/80 work schedule is when employees work eight nine-hour days and one eight-hour day over the course of two weeks. On top of that, employees will get one day off over the two-week period, so they can enjoy a three-day weekend.
A semi-flexible schedule is one that's less structured than a standard work schedule but that still offers some freedom. For example, employees may be expected to work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but there may be exceptions to promote a healthy work-life balance
— so they can work from home or leave work early if they talk to their managers about it.
A freelance schedule is for freelancers who either work independently or for a company. If they work independently, they may have complete control over the hours they work, so if they'd prefer to stay up all night getting the job done, they can. If they work for a company, they may have to work whatever schedule that company has, but as a freelancer, they may have more legroom to navigate that schedule flexibly.
15. No work schedule, at all
No work schedule means you work when you want. Maybe you take a short-term gig here and there to make enough money to support your lifestyle, and then you don't work at all for several months while you live off of that. When you run out of funds, you go get yourself another gig.
Choosing the right work schedule.
Choosing the right work schedule is important. We all live unique lives and have various personal obligations that span work, family, passions, hobbies and more. That's why maintaining some semblance of a work-life balance is key to achieving a fulfilling lifestyle.
For new parents, a more flexible work schedule might make more sense so that they can spend time with their babies. Meanwhile, for a recent graduate, a more rigid work schedule might be more beneficial so that they can get used to structure in the working world and build a routine for themselves as they move into their adult lives.
If you're working a schedule that doesn't seem to fit your lifestyle, you might have the opportunity to create a schedule that does. Talk to your manager about your needs (so long as they're reasonable and rational) and see what they can do. You'll never know until you ask!
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.